Fast-paced story that has so much. Sia lost her undocumented mother three years previously after ICE deported her. Sia and her BFF Rose are the only 'brown' teens in a mostly white Arizona town. Sia and Rose encounter racism and hatred, especially from the town sheriff and his son. Add to this Sia deals with PTSD after a horrific act committed on her during a date.
What I really loved about this book is it doesn't fit one category at all. There's romance, a mystery, contemporary modern-day issues like ICE and deportation, families; and the power of friendships. Add Mexican surrealism with an abuela that 'speaks' to Sia and helps and warns her when danger appears.
I loved how Gilliland mixes Mexican culture as a backdrop. There's also a big secret behind Sia's mother's disappearance. That's where the Sci-fi element comes in. Possible aliens with deadly intentions against those undocumented citizens who end up being deported come into play. There's also a bubbling romance between Sia and new kid in town Noah, who has his own secrets. Plus, a LBGT romance between her BFF and classmate.
Roswell New Mexico, X-Files meets YA where a Latinx teen finds that maybe some conspiracy theories might be based on a fact that involves her mother. And omg, on that ending. Is this a hint that there might be another book in this world? Please say yes!
3. Fast-paced; thriller